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Williams 'not as competitive as we have been'

13 June 2012

Neither Pastor Maldonado or Bruno Senna was able to extend Williams recent scoring streak into a third race, primarily as early weekend incidents worked against their race performance in Canada.

The pair came home in 13th and 17th places respectively at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and chief operations engineer Mark Gillan admits that the repairs that had to be carried out on Senna's car after free practice, and Maldonado's after qualifying, probably had some effect on the team's ability to be competitive.

"We had decent 'high fuel long run' pace on Friday, and Pastor was pretty quick in Saturday's morning session on lower fuel too, so we were reasonably confident going into qualifying," he confided, "Both drivers had accidents that damaged their gearboxes and, as Pastor's was his race 'box in qualifying, he took a five-place grid penalty going into the race.

"Both drivers pushed hard on their one-stop strategies, but we were ultimately not as competitive as we have been recently, which made progress through the pack not as easy as we would have hoped for. Given our start positions, we were happy with the one-stop strategy, but need to look at how we managed the tyres during the stints to see if we could have been quicker. We will spend a great deal of effort dissecting the data from the weekend, especially the effect that the large changes in track temperature and track evolution had on the tyre performance, and how best in future to react accordingly."

Other teams also remarked on the effect the changing temperatures had on their fortunes, with McLaren as frustrated by them rising as Lotus was by them being cooler than expected on Friday. Gillan was happier, however, to see that the developments brought to the Ile Notre Dame had generally been successful.

"The Montreal aero upgrades performed as we had expected and were run on both cars," he revealed, "and, [even though] Montreal is very tough on brakes, our brake material and cooling solutions worked well, so the brakes were not a major issue during the race."

Of particular note was the beautifully sculpted rear wing that the team introduced in Montreal, although supplies of the part were reduced by Senna's meeting with the Wall of Champions on Friday afternoon. The Brazilian had been plagued by problems through the day - having again been given the nod over test driver Valtteri Bottas in the morning session - and gave the team a lot of work to do in rebuilding his car ahead of qualifying.

"Both of Bruno's Friday sessions had issues, with the first session being compromised by not being able to use his DRS system and, in the second session, he had an accident which damaged three corners on the car, the front and rear wings and the gearbox," Gillan confirmed, "The mechanics worked very hard on Friday evening to rebuild the car, and we had enough spares to ensure that his car remained to the latest specification and was ready for the beginning of the Saturday morning session."


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